The odd Bachelorette editing and schedule this year (a pre-rose ceremony cliffhanger here, a double episode there) meant that Rachel went from 15 remaining guys to 6 in literally two days. I usually do my yearly rankings known as the “Bachelor Scale” around final 10-12 but they completely jumped over that phase this year. On one hand, such a massacre swiftly eliminates all the annoying drama guys who take up too much early-season screentime and lets us focus on the real contenders. On the other hand, brilliant/hilarious/wonderful/Best-Bachelorette-Ever though she may be (here’s where I’m putting the mandatory Copper mention), Rachel is making some wacky choices and all of a sudden we’re left with Adam (the mini-me doll guy) and Matt (the penguin suit guy) but dreamboats like Will and Alex are gone with little fanfare and shockingly little screentime. So, because I couldn’t bear to just talk about this weird final 6, and I definitely couldn’t bear to not do my Bachelor Scale, I’m just gonna rank everybody who got enough screentime to remember who they were. Most of them have been eliminated but this is about who I like, not who Rachel likes (ahem, Bryan).

Guys, Will was so dreamy I literally giggled every time he smiled. “Handsome, charming, sweet and smart” aside, you have to love Will because he basically saved the season last week. Episode after episode of unexamined racial tensions were coming to a (producer-encouraged, shame) head when Will finally gave voice to what thoughtful viewers had been discussing amongst themselves for weeks- the cultural history informing Kenny’s reactions to conflict and how (generous reading) Lee’s ignorance of or (less generous reading) purposeful manipulation of the fraught connotations of his language was inflaming the situation. Thank god for Will. His elimination this week was a shocker because he felt like the best pick of the remaining deck (or any deck, really) and I think his shyness with physical affection towards Rachel was almost entirely a “we’re on TV” thing more than the “Will doesn’t date black girls” story the producers were trying very hard to feed us (I’m much closer to buying the “Rachel’s into white guys” theory Eric floated, especially now that Eric is the only black man remaining from a pool that, for once, was not whitewashed from the start). I’m a very personality and intellect-driven romantic, which is definitely informing my love of Will, but, also, damn, that smile! I don’t see it happening but Will should 100% be the new Bachelor.

Dean is way too young for Rachel and for this show/settling down in general, his After the Final Rose appearance was groan-worthy, and his *spoiler alert* rumoured BIP romance with Kristina (a much better pairing) is definitely making me watch his remaining episodes with a grain of salt, but there’s something totally entrancing about him. He’s got a great read on the house and is so infectiously charming it’s impossible not to love him. And, too young though he is, Dean has unbelievable chemistry with Rachel. There was an awesomely illuminating sequence early on that contrasted Rachel’s stilted “getting to know you” conversation with a series of other men against her conversation the same night with Dean and the difference was my favourite thing about watching this show/the only reason I’m still watching this show. It’s so cool to be able to actually see sparks, to note the palpable difference when two people really “get” each other. It validates every theory I have on love and human connection. I don’t care how many on-paper objections you have, you know you love Dean.

We barely knew Alex. He was cute and fun and refreshingly frank. But, again, we barely knew him.

Oh, Peter. Consensus among many many smart, discerning women is that Peter is the most attractive man to ever be on this show. They’re certainly not far off, though he’s perhaps only in my all-time top 20 or so. A total heartthrob who is sexily soft-spoken and self-assured, Peter seems like a perfect fit for Rachel, who deserves someone as well-roundedly excellent as Peter because she’s so well-roundedly excellent. But I see no chemistry here. Well, maybe not no chemistry, but certainly not enough chemistry. I think it’s a classic case of two catches acknowledging the other’s catchiness- a scenario that could very well result in a medium to long-term relationship in the real world but stands out as not-quite-enough in this head-to-head battle for love story superiority.

Brady said like 10 words total in his time on The Bachelorette and his male model face is really not my thing but those 10 words he did say really struck me as smart, sensitive and grounded, especially those that were spoken when everyone else was yelling. I’d love to see him on Bachelor in Paradise one day, if only to find out if my “actually a pretty interesting guy” hunch is correct.

Especially when you consider that he got one of the first one-on-ones of the season, how little we know about Anthony is truly ridiculous. According to the edit, he pretty much never talks and has basically no defining qualities besides “strong and silent”. Strong and silent totally works for him, though.

That temper really is too much but poor Kenny was really put through it this season so the fact that we didn’t always see his most flattering side needs to be considered in context. There was something just overwhelmingly “good”-seeming about Kenny. I think it’s the melodic but heartfelt way he speaks that just makes you want to trust him and love him and maybe somehow make it all just a little bit easier for him.

Fun, cute, and the spiffiest dresser in the house by a mile and a half, the edit did not do right by Diggy.

Nor did the edit do right by Jonathan who, despite carrying the idiotic moniker of “tickle monster”, was actually a doctor(?!). He was also really pretty sweet but he got lost in a crowd that was just a lot hotter than him.

I like how much Rachel likes Eric. He’s so cute with his unbridled enthusiasm and endearing desire to air every feeling he’s having, good or bad. There’s a really nice innocence to Eric but those same qualities make him a little too immature for my taste.

I literally have no idea who Matt is other than “the guy who wore the penguin suit out of the limo”, which is why he falls into a completely neutral zone on the love/hate scale.

See “Matt” but replace “the guy who wore the penguin suit out of the limo” with “the guy who brought a weird doll sidekick with him” and understand why he’s in the same general place as Matt but just slightly lower.

Fred never did anything wrong and it’s definitely possible that he’s totally wonderful but all of his screentime was about how he had a crush on Rachel when she was his camp counsellor and that’s just too weird for me.

See “Matt” and “Adam” but replace “limo gimmick” with even less screentime and the damning label of “not cute enough”.

I started to come around on Bryan in the last episode or two, partly because he’s getting more comfortable and thus seeming a bit more sincere but mostly because the guys in the house seem to go out of their way to mention how much they like him and that’s an enlightening endorsement. That said, I can’t shake those Josh Murray vibes that hit me in episode one (the absolute worst kind of vibes) and he’s a truly terrible kisser. Maybe his kissing style just doesn’t translate well to video but, either way, I say “ew” literally every time.

Hahahahahaha. Oh man, that dreadful one-on-one dinner conversation gave me anxiety flashbacks to every terrible first date I’ve ever been on. Jack is really handsome. Too handsome. Like, he looks a bit like a cartoon that was suddenly promoted to “real boy”; what is up with his teeth?! And he’s a lawyer! In Dallas (like Rachel)! When I saw his video package I wanted to wrap the season up right there. But the second Jack started actually interacting with human beings on the series, it was over. What an awkward weirdo. Except he’s awkward in that way that So Many Guys are. He’s asking all the right questions, he’s just got no chill, no instincts, no ability to relax and interact with Rachel like she’s a fellow human being looking to connect not looking to get an entry-level internship with a commercial firm. Dude who kept answering my “did you see that movie?” questions with “so, do you have any siblings?” as you lost 6 board games in a row, I dedicate this paragraph to you.

Okay, okay, I know, DeMario should not be this high. But you know I’m wary of believing the producers when they tell me someone’s the villain without giving me concrete evidence. And, no, we don’t have concrete evidence. First thing’s first- the girlfriend thing. That girl was obviously not his girlfriend. But he obviously didn’t do right by her either. My hypothesis is more along the lines of “attempted to communicate that he didn’t want to be in a relationship with her but continued to sleep with her because he could, then left for the show and didn’t bother to tell her he was going because he thought he’d successfully communicated that they weren’t together, she was just a piece of ass to him”. That’s an asshole move, but it’s not uniquely villainous, nor is it against the rules of The Bachelorette. Besides, the producers totally knew about it. I suspect that getting DeMario’s abandoned hookup to see him on the show and come crash the season was the whole reason behind the idiotic “After the Final Rose” preview stunt. It’s all too much of a coincidence otherwise. Now, as for Bachelor in Paradise– it’s very very very important to me that people thoroughly read all of Corinne’s statements on the matter. Don’t just read articles about it, read Corinne’s actual words. She had a Very legit complaint but her complaint was against the show and the producers, very specifically not against DeMario. She never claimed that DeMario took advantage of her in any way. In fact, it’s quite clear that the manner in which the producers did not do right by Corinne (they allowed behaviour to escalate beyond what was safe and fair) applied to DeMario as well. Neither party was in a position to consent and both parties were deserving of the producers’ protection. I think he’s probably a bit of a sleazebag, but I don’t really believe DeMario to be a villain, at least not to the degree the show so desperately wants us to believe.

What an incredibly impressive, wholly intolerable person. Josiah is really smart and really interesting and really handsome but he is fuller of himself than anyone ever and his icky personality easily ends up overshadowing all his good qualities.

I wanted to like Iggy but he was just so damn sanctimonious (likely out of insecurity, but still). “STAY OUT OF IT, IGGY!” was the number one phrase in my house for a couple weeks.

Annoying. Not a super villain, but so very annoying.

To elaborate on Lucas not being a super villain, what is Blake’s deal with him? He’s obsessed. (Sidenote: why was THIS the Blake that Rachel kept around? Did she not see the other Blake?!). Blake was a petty idiot who talked about his penis in his intro package, who spent his whole time on the show complaining about Lucas, and whose career was “aspiring drummer”. The grossest, except…

ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS GUY?! This is not a reality TV villain, this is a straight-up psychotic human being. I suppose it was inevitable that we would get a new kind of Bachelor villain for the Trump-era but No!!!!! Fucking racist with stupid hair, why do you exist?

Because even just a passing thought of Lee puts me in a bad mood and I don’t want to leave you on such a sour note, here are two hella cute photos of Will and Dean being hella cute. You’re welcome.